Raw review: not your run of the mill teen horror flick


Garance Marillier in Raw.
Garance Marillier in Raw.

INTROVERT teen? Check. Creepy college campus? Check. Icky horror effects? Check.

However Raw is not your usual, mainstream teen horror/coming of age film.

Quiet, virginal vegetarian Justine (Garance Marillier) begins her vet course at a creepy old medical school, where the older students, including her sister and reformed vegetarian Alexi (Ella Rumpf), mercilessly haze her and other newbies.

They are woken in the middle of the night, their dorms ransacked, they are pumped with alcohol, drenched in animal blood and forced to eat a piece of raw rabbit organ.

Once Justine has her first (reluctant) taste of flesh, she immediately experiences a transformation, outside and inside.

First, there is the nasty, itchy rash on her body that makes her skin peel, then it is the insatiable appetite for human flesh.

A slow, unsettling build, Raw is less graphic than its classification or reputation might imply (Cannes Film Festival audience members reportedly ran out) and more interested in a feeling of unease, though the sight of Justine sinking her teeth into some raw meat is a little off-putting.

But what those reports of people walking out don’t mention is how funny the film is, in typical European style where comedy and horror are not mutually exclusive and humour can be found in the macabre.

There were a couple of points that irked me, completely unrelated to the horror content, such as where were all the faculty and how were the students able to run riot and pull off such disruptive haze activities?

Anyone considering going back to uni, or eating meat, might not want to give this one a go.

Those with a strong stomach and penchant for academia should be right.

Raw ( R )

Directed by: Julia Ducournau

Starring: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella

Three and a half stars

Review by: Julian Wright

In cinemas now